Half way through this current election however, it became blatantly obvious that whilst moral support would continue, neither the Liberal Government or the Labour Opposition would have the intestinal fortitude to offer the ground the money it needed to remain a practical option for an NRL team.
We needed to create a stir and it needed to be a headline grabbing stir. I think it would be fair to say - objective achieved.
Let me state this for the record – the clubs number one priority is to stay at Brookvale Oval. Our last and least preferred option is to relocate. The $8 million carrot on offer has been on the table for five years and will stay there until the NRL decide otherwise.
Again, a relocation of this proud club whether it be to the SFS, Nth Sydney Oval, Telstra Stadium or the Central Coast is the last option we would consider. Anybody who honestly believes the Board and Management of this club would walk away from our history without putting up the mightiest of fights, please note that the pigs are fueled and ready to fly.
I have read with amazement that people believe that Brookie is more than adequate for a first grade NRL team. I appreciate the emotional attachment but please, lets not be blinded by memories of yesteryear. The ground has a number of qualities we would retain in a redevelopment, but if you truly believe that you are being serviced professionally when you enter Brookvale Oval, you are in the minority. It needs work and needs to comply with the most basic OH & S laws.
The other issue I need to address is the attitude that the Club should simply make more money or should force the private owners to invest. Simply, the ground is zoned non commercial and therefore cannot be developed privately. If we fail to generate government funds, lobbying the Council to rezone is the next step. This will take months.
Revenue raising – how great it would be to simply knock on doors on the peninsula and be handed bags of money. Sponsorship is a tough game and becoming tougher. The poor state of Brookvale Oval does not help. Over the next month we will be announcing a new sleeve sponsor for the Club. A three year deal will multi national brand. A coup and great fit. That said, they initially didn’t want corporate hospitality as they believed the facilities at Brookvale Oval weren’t of an acceptable standard. A harsh reality. They love the club but needed re-assurance about the venue.
For all those people that want to give me an absolute earful and tell me that the Oval is fine in its current condition, I will be Brookie on Wednesday the 21st of November at 7pm fighting to keep this club where it belongs. I hope you can join me even if it is to give me a piece of your mind.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
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